Mr. Welch, a native of Salem, Massachusetts, received his B.S. degree in chemical engineering from the University of Massachusetts in 1957 and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois.
He joined GE in 1960 and was elected Vice President in 1972 and Vice Chairman in 1979. In 1981, he became the eighth Chairman and CEO in the Company's 121-year history. He retired in the fall of 2001.
Mr. Welch is a former chairman and a member of both The Business Council and the National Academy of Engineering and is a member of the Business Roundtable.